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I Shot the Band: The Bluesbaby

Band: Alicia V. (age 13), a.k.a The Bluesbaby

Song: Born Under a Bad Sign

YouTube Added Date: Aug. 13, 2008

Shooter: Bluesbaby8

Locale: Friday Night Live Festival, location unknown, possibly Downers Grove

Video Quality: Good

Sound Quality: Excellent

Overall Beachwood Shaky-Cam Rating: 6 (out of 10)

Comments: Up here in Minnesota, we thought our very own little Jonny Lang was young when he recorded his first blues album at age 15. Alicia V. probably isn't quite ready to give Jonny a run for his paper route money just yet. And she certainly isn't getting the attention of that kid in Wisconsin. But the Bluesbaby is a pretty good bluesman for a 13-year-old from the southwestern suburbs.

Here's what I can tell from the clues I've been given and a little old-fashioned Internet detective work. The BB is in her school district's senior high jazz ensemble as an eighth-grader. She wears a bluesman's fedora. Her dad wears a jersey with "Chicago" written on it and is her roadie. She handles a guitar like someone who's been playing for 40 years. When she sings, "Hard luck and trouble been my only friend, I've been down ever since I was 10," it's kind of ironic because that was, like, three years ago.

She's posted 10 songs from her "Friday Night Live" sidewalk set, where she wails on the axe, sings and plays to the accompaniment of a karaoke machine. Not only does she do Albert King's "Born Under a Bad Sign" included here, but she also picks it Chess-style on such classics as "Mustang Sally," "Sweet Home Chicago," "Every Day I Have the Blues," "Boom Boom" . . . the list goes on.

On her YouTube page, there is also a video of Alicia V. performing with Fernando Jones at this year's Chicago Blues Fest. Fernando says he met the BB and her parents in Ludington, Michigan. And there's a priceless video of her performing a couple Stevie Ray Vaughn numbers at her junior high school talent contest. I'm guessing she might have beaten out the kid who juggled beanbags to the tune of "Golden Slumbers."

Not that he didn't try hard, too, but I'm just sayin'.

The Bluesbaby/Born Under a Bad Sign


Previously in I Shot the Band:
* Company of Thieves: At Welles Park covering OutKast.

* Funhouse: At Kankakee County's famed fish fry.

* Lady Tramaine Hawkins: High praise from the Pritzker Pavilion.

* XSNRG: Transport yourself from Cermak & Harlem to that wondrous night in 1978 at the International Amphitheater.


Contact Don!


Posted on August 18, 2008

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